Food For Thought: Our Diet is Killing Us

If the information in Forks Over Knives is accurate (and I have no reason at the moment to believe otherwise), and IF Americans responded by changing their lifestyles and diets to achieve the reduction in cancer, diabetes, heart disease and several of the other major diseases that shatter our peace, drain our bank accounts, give us unimaginable stress and kill us–it would put the health insurance, dairy industry, beef and chicken industry and fast food industries out of business within a year.

Will we? Some of us will.

If you can see the movie, by all means, do. If you can’t, then you can at least read this from Huffington Posts’ coverage of the chief clinicians who’s work is central to the film that was shown to about 80 in Floyd in a bitterly cold February night last week.

This is the kind of “reality” show that merits our time, our reflection and our action.

If I find something that seems to disprove the major points of the movie, I’ll pass that along. I don’t expect to.

T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.: Forks Over Knives: How a Plant-Based Diet Can Save America


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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I rather suspected there was contrary opinion out there, since this no-animal-protein seemed too easy to be entirely true as told in FoN. Ann and I both had uneasiness about a few of the contradictions or too-quick cause and effect connections in the movie–like the Norway data. Hello, the Nazis did not take away FISH. But the take-home is very powerful, and diet and health ARE closely connected, to be sure.

    This rawfoods piece is way long, and I’m only about a quarter done reading. But it seems to do a fair job of prodding the facts. The comments are probably enlightening too. So anyone who wants to know more about the science and hype and spin of the film’s content, read this piece, event if it takes you a week.

  2. Read NOURISHING TRADITIONS: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig. A local Farmers’ Market vendor loaned it to me. The first seventy or so pages are the key ones.

  3. I scanned all of the rawfoodsos critique, and found it quite amazing. The blogger is a vegetarian, yet she spent untold hours examining the scientific basis for the conclusions in FoK, and the take away is that the conclusions of those scientists are quite poorly grounded!! I am amazed that both the Norway and the China study data are so unsupportive of their conclusion that meat is the culprit in our health problems. I took away that wheat and its inflammatory properties might be a culprit to be on the lookout for.

  4. These two scientists whose work and patients are featured here seem at first glance to be without reproach in their scientific integrity and honesty. And yet, they are certainly aware of the down-sides and the gaps and the contradictions pointed out in this challenge in rawfoods. Given the opportunity, they could certainly offer counter-arguments to many of them, I feel certain. But as a friend pointed out yesterday, having done the research on this film before it was decided that SustainFloyd would feature it, many of the principles in this movie are selling books. Objectivity can easily be–and far too often these days IS–hijacked by dollar signs. Sigh